Difference Between Colo Colo Opossum VS Dugong

colocolo opossum vs dugong

You might be familiar with the opossum, also known as the possum. This marsupial is found in the Americas, and its cousin, the colo colo, is found in South America. The colo colo is a larger version of the opossum, and it has a longer snout. The dugong is a marine mammal that is distantly related to elephants. It is found in warm waters around Australia and Indonesia. Both the colocolo opossum vs dugong are fascinating creatures, but there are some significant differences between them. Let’s take a closer look.

1) Size 

One of the most significant differences between these two animals is their size. The average adult colo colo weighs between 2 and 4 kg (4-9 lbs). The average adult dugong weighs up to 500 kg (1,100 lbs)! That means that the dugong is more than 100 times heavier than the colo colo. 

2) Habitat 

Another big difference is where these animals live. Colo colos are found in South American rainforests. Dugongs are found in warm coastal waters around Australia and Indonesia. Additionally, colo colos are good climbers, while dugongs cannot climb at all. 

3) Diet 

These animals also have different diets. Colo colos eat leaves, fruit, insects, and small vertebrates like lizards and rodents. Dugongs are herbivores too, but they eat mostly seagrasses. In fact, dugongs play an essential role in maintaining healthy seagrass beds! They graze on the seagrasses and help keep them from getting overgrown. 

4) Physical appearance 

There are also some noticeable differences in the way these animals look. Colo colos have dark fur and a long, prehensile tail. Dugongs are gray or brown, and they don’t have tails. They do have two large flippers, which they use to swim gracefully through the water. 

5) Lifespan 

Another difference between these animals is how long they live. Colo colos typically live for 4-5 years in the wild. Dugongs can live for up to 70 years! Additionally, colo colos reproduce more frequently than dugongs. A female colo colo can have up to four litters of babies in a single year!

6) Behavior 

There are some differences in the way these animals behave. Colo colos are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. Dugongs are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day. Dugongs are also very social creatures. They live in groups of 10-20 individuals and often travel together. Colo colos, on the other hand, are primarily solitary creatures.

7) Population 

Finally, there is a big difference in the size of these animals’ populations. There are an estimated 4 million colo colos living in the wild. There are only about 60,000 dugongs left in the world! Dugongs are classified as vulnerable, while colo colos are not currently considered to be at risk.


Both the colo colo and the dugong are fascinating creatures, but they definitely have some significant differences! From their size to their habitat to their diet, these animals are not alike at all! So, next time you see a colo colo or a dugong, take a closer look and see how many of these differences you can spot!